Fillies Fire For Berths In Hambletonian Oaks Elims; Colts Dig Deep In Last Preps At The Meadows And The Meadowlands

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July 26th, 2018


The fillies finally fight for their spot in the Hambletonian Oaks this Saturday, July 28 with a total of 17 entries competing in two eliminations at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Alongside the fillies, the colts contest in two divisions of the $93,200 Reynolds Memorial Trot as well as in two divisions of the $51,914 Arden Downs at the Meadows and in two divisions of the $173,500 New York Sires Stakes at Yonkers Raceway on Friday, July 27.

Manchego leads eight fillies in the first “Oaks” elimination and enters off a second-place finish in a world-record mile. Any and all wagers will rely on Manchego. At her best she’s not worth trying to beat in this field. A smart approach with a favorite of this caliber is to look to the exotics. Hey Blondie, making a slight move up in class, and Seviyorum from the outside should hit the ticket; whether they will be good enough prices to make the exotics worth playing is also the question.

Beware too of Courtney Hanover as she’s another contender for the minor spots but should go off at a high price due to her big move in class this time around.

Plunge Blue Chip and Phaetosive are clear stand outs from the six other competitors in the second Oaks elimination and may or may not be considered value at the low prices expected. Two fillies have been improving well coming into the eliminations: Lima Novelty and Perfect Summer K. They also appear to be a level beneath the top two so throw them onto the exotics for a shot at some decent cash.

The opening division of the Reynolds features eight Hambletonian hopefuls with Hockey Hanover being the only one that is not. Met’s Hall should take favoritism in his third start of the season, entering off a third-place effort in the Tompkins-Geers last week. If not the favorite, consider him value and worth using as a stronger win contender.

Aside from the potentially obvious, Missile Hill showed a slight return to form in his most recent mile at Philly, finishing third in a sires-stakes division. Moving back to the bigger track along with his possible improvement, he could be an outsider with a shot to upset.

Division two of the Reynolds features a field of eligibles, exempting Mississippi Storm and Lindy’s Big Bang. Jim Campbell’s pair of Patent Leather and Crystal Fashion should take a majority of the money in this event but For A Dreamer could rebound off a break at Philly in his most recent start. Going his best mile of the year at the Meadowlands in a division of the Stanley Dancer, his gait doesn’t seem to be an issue over this bigger surface and the rail draw certainly aids in getting this horse into contention.

A trio of Hambo eligibles gathers in the first division of Arden Downs in the afternoon at the Meadows. Quality Kemp, Mister Of All and Mr Moiselle still have hopes for the following week. For a price, House Hubby draws the rail and closed well in his most recent mile, showing the best form to likely get underrated by the public come post time.

Garnet, Joey and Mister Ruff are the hopefuls in the second division with Joey being the obvious counter choice to morning-line favorite Scirocco Rob. Gaining ground late in the Tompkins-Geers and finishing close last out, Joey makes a drop in class this week and has shown the form required to win at this company.

The opening division of New York Sires Stakes collects hopefuls Tito, Cruising In Style and Purpose Blue Chip. Helpisontheway should take favoritism off a win in the Tompkins-Geers last out but the value in this race likely comes from Cascada, who finished fourth in his first start stateside while gaining ground in the process. He will be overlooked because he finished fourth but can finish first with the right trip here.

Fashion Forever and Don are the lone eligible colts in the second division but Perlucky may be worth a play against the likely favorite, The Veteran, as he enters off a win from a short layoff. Making his second start off the month’s rest, he seems to have regrouped and should sharpen off his winning effort.

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